E Career Strategy Library E Evaluating an employer E Common Characteristics of Corporate Employers

5 Common Characteristics of Corporate Employers

Common Characteristics of Corporate Employers

Like industry, the scale of business is another important factor for professionals to identify target employers and assess them. Based on the size, companies can be small and medium or large scale. Small and medium-sized companies can have up to 250 employees. This includes micro-enterprises with less than 10 employees, small enterprises with 11-50 employees, and medium-sized enterprises ranging between 51 to 250 staff members. On the other hand, large corporations employ more than 250 employees with large-scale production of their goods and services.  This article will discuss corporate employers to help professionals understand their characteristics and what they offer. 

1) Employee benefits

One of the key factors that distinguish a corporate employer from a start-up is benefits. Corporate employers don’t only offer competitive salaries for all positions. They also provide additional benefits, which include both monetary and non-monetary rewards. These form an important part of the company culture, enhancing the employer brand. It keeps the employees motivated and satisfied. Thereby improving their quality of life while preventing burnout and absence at work. According to a 2020 report, some big players offering great benefits are:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft
  • Zoom Video Comms
  • Amazon
  • UiPath
  • RingCentral
  • Apple
  • Netflix

Some key benefits components are:

  • Bonuses
  • Health insurance
  • Life/Disability insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Time off
  • Childcare support
  • Signing bonus
  • Misc compensation, such as company discounts or onsite barista
  • Flexible schedules
  • Continued education and professional development

2) Training and Development

Offering training and development programs to their employees is a common characteristic of corporate employers. If you are working in a start-up, you have a higher chance of learning by doing. However, with big corporate houses, there is a dedicated team to train and develop employees before starting the job. Additionally, they provide training programs and workshops on a regular basis to upgrade their skills and keep up with their role requirements. Some popular training programs used by companies are:

  • Game-based training
  • Job rotations
  • Internships
  • Job shadowing
  • Classroom training
  • Roleplays
  • Team training

A few companies known for their training programs are:

  • Adobe
  • AmeriCorps
  • Seattle Genetics
  • Randstad US
  • Schneider Electric
  • Cushman & Wakefield
  • Macy’s
  • Triage Consulting
  • Marriott International Inc.
  • Wells Fargo

Effective learning and development programs are a great way to empower employees and enhance workplace engagement. The impact of such programs may not be immediate but the returns are higher in the long run. These give employees opportunities to grow while benefiting the organization as a whole.

3) Structure

Corporate employers have pre-defined, clear structures, processes, and roles. They follow a mechanistic structure with a rigid span of control, centralization, and specialization. The responsibilities outlined are very specific to the role, unlike start-ups where everyone may be required to do everything. The chain of command in such environments is clear with stringent departmentalization. Depending on the business needs and preferences, they may have one or more of the following structures:

  • Functional Organizational Structure – This structure is based on job functions, grouping all professionals from one domain into one group. For example, team A includes all marketers headed by a Marketing Manager. Team B comprises sales professionals led by a Sales Manager, and so on. These managers report to top management.
  • Product-Based Divisional Structure – Each division in a product-based divisional structure is responsible for a product. For example, product A has its own marketing, sales, and customer relations teams while product B has different marketing, sales, and customer relations teams. This is followed for each product line.
  • Geographical Divisional Structure- The divisions in this structure are based on geography. If a company is operating in 3 different countries, it will have functional divisions in each country. For example, if a company operates in Canada and the US, it will have separate marketing, sales, HR, and customer relationship teams in each country.

Each structure has its pros and cons. We suggest having a thorough understanding of each of these, identifying what your employers of choice adopt, and applying for the ones that align with your preferences. For example, if you want to work in an environment where different functional teams collaborate and interact with each other, a divisional structure would be more effective for you.

4) Culture

Most corporate employers are characterized by conventional or traditional culture. In the past, this meant 9-5 jobs, strict dress codes, and a hierarchical approach. However, with more millennials holding management positions, the culture in many companies has changed significantly. The dress code is not as strict as it used to be. With new ways of work evolving, many companies have adopted flexible models.

Some other remarkable changes include a focus on mental health, work-life balance, and personal and professional development. But these may not be a top priority for all corporate employers. So before deciding to work with an employer, go through their website, careers page, and social media accounts to see if the environment is aligned with your needs or not. While the culture in most companies is evolving for good, hierarchy, structure, and bureaucracy have remained the same.

5) Brand Recognition

Most corporate employers, based on their size and operations, have an established brand identity. They have a public presence, acknowledged by media houses globally. Unlike start-ups, corporate players spend billions of dollars on building their brands. They invest in the following areas to create a strong presence for themselves:

  • Employer Branding
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Product Marketing
  • Digital Presence

Working for a big corporate player is a dream for many. While such companies are considered to be traditional in many ways, they have evolved with time and will continue to do so. If you want to work for a corporate player, we recommend conducting thorough research and ensuring their characteristics match your interests.